15-Apr-2010 03:04 PM#1

A great article on sufism It is often assumed that Sufism stands opposed to Wahhabism. Wrong. Sufism and Wahhabism, in fact, share a fatal characteristic ± they are religions of the status quo. In Pakistan, Sufism legitimises barbarities of inequality and starvation ± µdo nothing, it¶s god¶s will¶ - while at the same time justifying structures of oppressive power, Pirism and landlordism, rather like Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia. Contemporary Sufism, rather than being a solution to Pakistan¶s problems, is the cause. I was sitting at the shrine of Shah Kamal in Lahore, with the dhol beats and whirling dervishes dancing to connect to the µcentre of the universe in themselves¶, when a friend turned and pointed to an old German fellow sitting a few meters from us. ³He just delivered a lecture on Sufism. He is an expert on the subject, and talked about how it¶s a religion of peace and love.´
I replied curtly: ³Have you ever been in love? Have you had your heart broken? What peace is there in that state? What peace was there when Mansur had his head chopped off on the orders of the Baghdadi Emperor? What peace was there when Shah Inayat was fighting against the Mughal emperor for his life and that of his commune? What peace is there in Sassui¶s peeling feet as she searches for her beloved through the desert of Sindh?´ My friend agreed and said: ³But they pay me ± I have to go along with them.´ Western and Pakistani policymakers think Islam can be codified as either a religion of peace and love and given the brand of Sufism, or as a religion of violent jihad. They think it¶s better, at this point in time, to promote the peaceful religion of Sufism. Note how the word Islam is taken out ± Sufism is codified as not really Islam. Thus Sufism is considered a perfect native antidote to the violent religion of Islam. Why are dollars, pounds, rupees and Euros going to promote Sufism? What is it about today¶s Sufism that allows it to serve a

the town where the saint is buried. Sufism is docile. though the true figure may be closer to 50 per cent. He called Sufism ³docile´. It is this power that has created a ³docile´ Sufism. It is not only candles and lanterns that are lit at the shrines. and what function does it play locally in Pakistan? The answer was hard for me to stomach. had an emblem of the Sufi saint Lal Qalandar hanging in his shop. with the richest one per cent of farmers owning 150 per cent more land than the bottom 62 per cent of farmers put together. Pakistan is a vastly unequal society. and I thought I¶d found a touchstone from which to articulate a spirituality that was socially radical and politically challenging to Pakistan¶s parasitic elite and the US/Nato invaders. Ziauddin Sardar.are taken as altering the universe and leading to the granting of prayers of health. money is exchanged and power is sustained. blessings. wealth. Feudal landlords in vast parts of Sindh . Inequity is the hallmark of the Sindh province of Pakistan. and even sexual induction before marriage (in the case of a notorious Sindhi landlord/Pir) . their desire for a µson¶ will be answered. And indeed. rings. Sindh. Government figures put those below the poverty line at close to 40 per cent of the population.´ A popular song sung across the Punjab at Sufi shrines tells women that if they light a lantern at the shrine of saints. polymath writer and scholar of Islam. A shopkeeper in Main Market.threads. and other worthy claims by this mass of the wretched that is the Pakistani citizen. Items given by holy Pirs . forced me to face the facts. I had spent much time researching aspects of Sufism. He said that ³what these people do not realise is that 80 per cent of what we pray at the shrine [of Lal Qalandar] comes true. which he had got from Sehraw Sharif. which is celebrated as ³the land of the Sufis´ and is where Sufis and Pirs hold power. acting as an opiate for the masses.purpose for the American empire. with most Pirs/Syeds/Sufis amounting to nothing short of ³confidence tricksters´. A recent World Bank report noted that Sindh has the narrowest distribution of land ownership. Gulberg.

looking for local collaborators. the landlords themselves.have holdings of thousands of acres. The recital stops and they are escorted to the front and seated. doubly blessed with µlight¶! And then they begin expounding their ideology: ³We the Syeds get different treatment from God Almighty. It states that the Prophet was given divine light/knowledge. in her book. found Sufi Pirs willing to oblige. for our good deeds we get double the reward compared to µmurids¶ [non-Syeds] . Sufi Saints and State Power: The Pirs of Sind. These lands were sometimes acquired during the Mughal era but were largely consolidated during the British colonial rule in India. Sarah Ansari. This stream of inequity from generation to generation is based on a lame theological idea. and thanks to such patronage has gained far more ground than the Taliban. and now by the American Empire. and most of them are Syeds or Pirs. At a recital of the poetry of the radical Sufi Waris Shah held each year in Lahore. The British. which nonetheless has been promoted by the Mughal Empire. These serfs create the wealth that sends the Bhuttos and the Gilanis to universities such as Oxford and Harvard. These descendents append the honorific title of µSyed¶ [literally. while their children get ³blessings´ and threads of ³Pirs´. Pirs justify their superiority on a similar argument ± they were given the light. the British Empire. and claim divine and material privileges. notes: µthe Sindhi Pirs participated in the British system of control in order to protect their privileges and to extend them further whenever and wherever possible¶. Wealth is created by a pool of landless serfs who toil thousands of acres for their spiritual masters. µmaster¶]. which passes on to his descendents. 1843-1947. the descendents of Iman Bari Sarkar (a Pir) enter the arena to be received with awe and sought for blessings by the crowd. while seeing their own children starve. Today¶s feudalists are keen to protect and promote ³docile´ Sufism to sustain their wealth and power ± this time with US help. and this light continues to radiate in their descendants. All eyes are on these holy men who are not only descendents of a Pir but also Syeds ± thus.

from the The Samosa. justice and liberty. a new UK-based politics. it¶s not easy to be a Syed « [he laughs] « we have to suffer double the punishment for our any wrong deeds whereas you [non-Syeds] get only single punishment for a single wrong deed!´ There you have it! Our holy man explains why he has a Land Cruiser jeep and ³non-Syeds´ have donkey carts. Given the lack of proportional representation and the vast inequality in power in each district between Pirs and the rest. culture and arts journal. the Americans don¶t care about Pakistan¶s growing multitude of serfs and the underclass. Parliamentarians know that lack of education. Both have the claim of being descended from Holy Pirs as the basis of their wealth and distinction. Like the British before them. they don¶t care whether the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister of Pakistan are deeply rooted in the cause of inequity and injustice in the country and part of the promotion of a system of starvation ± a Sufism that tells people to take a blessing instead of demanding food. DAWN. Like the British. This is an article by Qalandar Bux Memon. must care. We.COM | Pakistan | The bad Sufi .who only get single reward for a single good deed « but. campaigning blog and website. editor of Naked Punch. sustains their power. education. It is the ideology that is used to uphold their wealth and despotism. A similar pattern is repeated throughout Pakistan. we cannot expect parliament to challenge inequity and injustice in Pakistan. it is almost always the case that elections flood parliament with Pirs/Syeds/landlords. however. As a result. coupled with the obscurantism of contemporary Sufism. The current Pakistani Prime Minister (Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani) and Foreign Minister (Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi) are examples. and keeps millions in serfdom. He explains why most Pakistanis are living in poverty while he and his Syeds and Pirs are lapping it up in luxury. Contemporary Sufism is the ideology of Sindh¶s landlords. they will fund whoever furthers their interests.

Plus none of them made this a way to earn bread and butter for them... where he converted to Islam in 1972. is also crooked... and I can say from my personal experience that there is a lot of happiness in sacrificing for whom you love...... Education Dr.. Philips comes from a family of educators. resident in Qatar.... . he wouldnt have written these lines... He appears on Peace TV. Sahaba RA were at the same time very accomplished in Ihsan and also carried out their daily chores effectively. but grew up in Canada... Philips s lecture: Sufism Dangers in blind following sheiks and ****fas Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips is a teacher.. degree from the Islamic University of Madina and his M..A. He received his B.. in Aqeedah (Islamic Philosophy) from the King Saud University in Riyadh... as both his parents were teachers and his grandfather was a Church Minister and Bible scholar...15-Apr-2010 05:45 PM#2 I did not find any thing great about this Article... which is a 24-hour Islamic satellite TV channel broadcasted to many countries around the world..A... If this author have had fallen in true love. speaker. It only concentrated on the aspects which are basically a bit distant from the essence of Islamic spirituality also known as "Ihsan" which mainly means that you worship Allah as you are seeing him. to mix our contaminated understanding of Ihsan and Ihsan itself . 1952 in Jamaica. Philips was born January 7. 15-Apr-2010 06:37 PM#3 Dr... and author.. The fact is . ....

now known as Discover Islam.... 15-Apr-2010 07:58 PM#4 Valid points..... so the best way is to keep our eyes and ears open and abstain from Blindly following anybody.. .... and always judge everything in the light of Quran and Hadith... Following is one of his video explaining dangers in blind following Sheiks and ****fas.. .....Islamic Information Center In 1994 he founded (and continues to direct) an Islamic Information Center........... by Bilal Philips. nobody is going to work out whether I am lying or speaking the truth. for example .. in Dubai. there are deviant practices every where. Secondly.. But you can not outrightly reject the concept of Ihsan on some people's bad experiences.. Khair.... United Arab Emirates.. tomorrow I start telling to people that I saw this and this and I can feel this and that.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful